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Boomkat Product Review:
Although the Animal Collective's first 'proper' releases only started showing up in the mainstream in 2003, the band had been performing together for quite some time and refining their other-worldly blend of folk and experimental electronics. In fact, 'Hollinndagain' was released by Secretly Canadian sublabel St. Ives in 2002 but since it was limited to only 300 copies, it didn't last long and those Animal Collective folks have taken it upon themselves and their Paw Tracks label to re-issue the long forgotten recordings. The album was recorded live when the band toured with Black Dice, and understandably is rather noisier (and rather more like Black Dice) than you might expect from the now perfectly toned Animal-like fellers. Looping up shards of guitar, screeching wildly and hammering mercilessly on their percussion it sounds like the gigs must have been a truly invigorating experience, yet it does struggle to come together on cd. This sort of experience has clearly got to be heard 'in the flesh' as such, and although there are moments of greatness on the album (the beautiful Radiophonic experimentation of 'There's an Arrow' or 'Lablakely Dress' for instance) the release as a whole can be difficult to get through in one sitting. In conclusion the record works far better as a museum piece or oddity than a fully fledged album in the way that 'Feels' or 'Sung Tongs' was, where those albums felt lean and perfectly formed and kept their rampant individuality well toned, 'Hollinndagain' comes across as more of a stepping stone before they reached their zen-like area of focus. Without a doubt interesting to hear, but don't be expecting the Beach Boys comparison to be raised when listening to this particular Collective release.